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Let Them Eat Cake!

February 7, 2010

The Akins presented me some challenges.


Mrs. Akin has Celiac’s desise.

Mr. Akin likes chocolate.

Mo Akin is lactose intolerant.

Little Akin likes peanut butter.


What birthday cake could satisfy all of these needs? Gluten-free, dairy-free, chocolate, vanilla, and peanut butter?

A half vegan chocolate chocolate chip, half gluten free brown sugar vanilla quadruple layer cake with peanut butter icing, of course!

(Do you see now why the tagline is “Far From Simple?” I thought so.)


My idea was simple:

  • Bake two cakes. One chocolate and vegan, the other vanilla and gluten free.
  • Cut each cake in half both horizontally and vertically.
  • Fill cake with a rich vegan chocolate mousse.
  • Frost everything with a vegan peanut butter frosting.

I made just enough so each recipe yields one 8 in round layer of cake. The one mistake I did make is shorting myself of frosting. (I’ve included the changes for this.)

I played around with a regular cake recipe to get the gluten free version and then did some math to accommodate molasses. I was shocked when it actually turned out quite light, moist and very delicious.


Single Layer Brown Sugar Cake

(gluten free, casein free)

¼ c rice flour (42 g)

¼ c gf baking mix (Bob’s Red Mill) (40 g)

1/3 c corn starch (40 g)

2 tbsp+2 tsp potato starch (31 g)

1 tsp baking powder (3g)

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp xanthen gum (3g)

¼ c. + 2 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, softened (73 g)

½ c. sugar (111 g)

1 egg+1 egg yolk (large)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp blackstrap molasses

¼ c almond milk (2 oz)

Pre-heat oven to 350*

Grease 1, 9 inch cake pan and sprinkle with corn starch. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients (first seven, not sugar). Set aside.

Cram together margarine and sugar until pale yellow, beat about 2 minutes.

Add egg, egg yolk, vanilla and molasses and beat for an additional minute.

On low speed, slowly incorporate dry ingredients to butter mixture. Once together, mix for 1-2 minutes while drizzling in almond milk.

Smooth into cake pan and place in center of oven.

Bake for 23 minutes, (check at 20 min. with a toothpick)

Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto waxed paper on a wire rack.

Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap until ready to frost. (we’re being really earth friendly here.)


When that went into the oven, I got to work on the chocolate vegan cake. The recipe was based on half of Dreena’ Burton’s Sinful Chocolate Cake from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. I omitted the spices and added chocolate chips. The cake came out so rich and moist, and I would love to make it again!

Single Layer Vegan Chocolate,

Chocolate Chip Cake

½ c + 2 tbsp spelt flour (90 g)

½ cup wheat flour (72 g)

¼ cup cocoa (27 g)

½ tsp baking powder (1.5 g)

¾ tsp baking soda (2 g)

½ c + 1 T sugar

¼ tsp salt

¾ c + 2 tbsp water (7 oz)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (1/2 oz)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 c chocolate chips (vegan)

Pre-heat oven to 350*

Prepare a 9 inch cake pan with baking spray and cocoa powder.

Combine first seven dry ingredients (including sugar). Whisk together.

Combine water, vinegar, vanilla and oil.

Create a well in the dry bowl and add the liquid ingredients and chocolate chips.

Fold together until there are no powdery lumps.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes (check at 23 minutes with tooth pick to prevent over cooking)

Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto waxed paper lined wire rack.

Once completely cool, warp with plastic wrap until ready to frost.


Once both cakes were cooked I started on the fillings and frosting. They were both based on silken tofu, which I think makes a great base for mousses and icings.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Filling

1/2 block extra firm silken tofu, drained

1 cup chocolate chips, melted

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor. Transfer to a container and let sit in refrigerator for 2 or more hours, until ready to decorate.

Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting

1 block extra firm silken tofu, drained

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp guar gum (optional)

Process all ingredients together. Place in a container in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours, until ready to decorate.

Options: Substitute almond butter for peanut butter, use 1/2 tsp almond extract instead of vanilla

Assembly wasn’t too difficult, but both cakes were 100% cool. Almost cold. Not warm. At all. Compris? Oui.

1. Slice cake in half, thusly:


2. Slice cake in half (again), thusly (again):


3. Assemble cake one half at a time, layer by layer.


4. Use peanut butter filling between first and second layers, and chocolate filling in the middle and top layer.

5. Use peanut butter to act as a “seal” between the two halves, smoosh together.

6. Add more peanut butter frosting, drizzle chocolate or chocolate pudding, add juvenile decorations like sprinkles and marzipan balls.


Cake decorating isn’t my strong suit, and I ran out of frosting. Sue me!!

The layers do bake up at uneven heights and I don’t have the cake decorating confidence to “trim” the layers, so I just stacked and frosted. Everything settled in a few minutes so in the end it was level.

This cake can be really glamorous and I think next time I bake one I’ll be ready with sophisticated decorations, so it doesn’t look like a four-year-old made it!


C’mon, it looks a little bit delicious!


The chocolate half was less photogenic. If that’s possible.


How to serve: cut like a regular cake (wiping the blade regularly to avoid cross contamination). Serve chocolate pieces to chocolate lovers, vanilla pieces to vanilla lovers, chocolate pieces to vegans, vanilla pieces to Celiacs’… you get the picture. When you come across a 1/2 and 1/2 piece, just feed it to someone who wants to try both!


Cue: Hannah Montana, “Best of Both Worlds”. On second thought please don’t!! 😛


Workout Updates Last Week

Swim/Cardio time: 275 minutes

(I swam 5 days in a row this week! 60, 45, 60, 50, and 60!)

Abs: 20 minutes

I have a surprise in store for winter break, and I can’t wait to tell you guys!


Happy Super Bowl Sunday!!! What are your plans tonight? Are you a sports fan or a commercial watcher?

Coming up this week:

  • Broccoli chips
  • The sweet potato fry experiment
  • PB & Jay sandwich
24 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2010 9:57 pm

    I want to hire you to make my husband Andrew’s 30th birthday cake – if only we lived closer!! You are so talented!! I am so not a baker…so I am not even going to attempt this…but Whole Foods said they can make him a GF coconut cream cake. But it won’t be nearly as great as this cake you made!!!!!

  2. February 7, 2010 10:01 pm

    Oh my goodness. How do you have time for all this?!

  3. February 7, 2010 10:14 pm

    This looks amazing! How on earth did you come up with something so delicious?! Drool.

  4. February 7, 2010 11:09 pm

    Both cake halves look delicious?

    Quick question: how sensitive to gluten is the person with Celiacs? I ask because some people are so sensitive that using the same knife to cut both cakes, and to spread the icing on both halves, can cause an allergic reaction. You probably accounted for this when baking, just wanted to point it out!

    • February 8, 2010 12:19 am

      She said the food coming into contact with the other side of the cake wouldn’t hurt, but I made sure to wipe the blade when I was cutting the vanilla and frost the sides separately.
      I also made the gluten free cake first so none of the equipment would have traces of flour and frosted the vanilla half first so the only crumbs in the icing were gluten free.

  5. February 7, 2010 11:16 pm

    Girl, you are a glutton for punishment! haha. Props to you for coming up with something the whole family could enjoy – I think if I were presented with such a challenge, there would be a whole lot of cake winding up in the trash, and my mind boggled. The frosting sounds SO good.

    Can’t wait to read about the broccoli chips and sweet potato fries. I can’t get enoughof broc and sweet potatoes lately – LOVE sweet potato fries with curry powder 🙂

    …and I’m definitely a “commercial watcher.”

    p.s. I immediately had an Alton Brown voice in my head when I read “thusly.” 😛

  6. Courtney permalink
    February 7, 2010 11:45 pm

    YUM YUM YUM those cakes look delicious!! Definately beats my Pillsbury Funfetti with trans-fatty frosting that I made last night. 😀

    • February 8, 2010 12:34 am

      I’m sure your cake was awesome too. As much as I hate to admit it, cake mixes have it going on. They’re really well made and tested!

  7. February 8, 2010 12:19 am

    Oh yum, I can’t wait to hear about the sweet potato fry experiment!!

    And that cake. Oh boy. Girl, cakes are my thing and so I’m loving this post. You are a genius, pure and simple. That cake sounds absolutely amazing. I am going to have to try that…

  8. February 8, 2010 12:50 am

    Excuse me while I pick up my jaw from the ground. Too busy gawking at your skills. Beautiful work!

  9. February 8, 2010 3:15 am

    OH WOW!! you are a cake master obviously 😀 I like vegan cake idea very much – silken tofu is such a wonderful substitute for cheese …..and the texture is awesome!!

  10. February 8, 2010 4:35 am

    I’ll decorate a cake for you… but only if you let me eat it 😉

    • February 8, 2010 11:21 am

      Thank you! You can eat all you want, as long as I get a good photo! 😉

      My cake decorating skills are a little subpar.

  11. February 8, 2010 10:49 am

    That must have taken some serious time! Impressive to say the least. Very intrigued by the broccoli chips teaser…

  12. February 8, 2010 3:01 pm

    Far from simple is so true on this one. Wow your cake looks incredible – kudos!

  13. February 8, 2010 7:49 pm

    Oh my goodness, Mae, you are incredible!! I heart your blog.. keep up all these awesome recipes, sweetie 😉

  14. February 8, 2010 9:22 pm

    Wow, that cake sounds absolutely amazing! Especially the peanut butter frosting 🙂

  15. February 9, 2010 6:24 am

    Mmmm it looks delicious! I wish I had an oven to bake with….D: arg…maybe one of my hosue councelors will let me use their’s

  16. February 9, 2010 7:31 am

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know of a giveaway I am having on my site for Glass Dharma straws. They are beautiful glass straws that are so fun in green smoothies, juices, or even just lemon water. Perhaps your readers would be interested?

    Here is the link to the giveaway:

    Thanks! : )


  17. February 10, 2010 7:42 am

    Your cake looks gorgeous!

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